Creating an Islamic-American Culture
Reasons for African-American, Latino-American, and Euro-American conversions to Islam vary. Many converts cite the religion’s concept of God; others mention a desire find a way to connect to their creator. Whatever the motives, Muslim converts predominantly expect to integrate into a brotherhood and garner acceptance from their fellow adherents. Muslim converts generally suppose they are members of an egalitarian religion and global fellowship, wherein they will be welcomed wherever they go. However, the hypothetical brotherhood that Native-born American (NbA) converts anticipate is complicated by the reality of racism in their communities to which they find themselves subject. Comparing Islamic teachings about racism with instances of racism and xenophobia found in Muslim communities in the United States reveals a paradox encountered by NbA Muslims that shows it effects on their worship, social interactions, and how they generate their cultural identities based upon their Islamic and American experiences.